News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Senate Approves Abortion Bill In Wee Hours

The Texas Senate spent another late night debating some of the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation. But this time, things turned out as expected.

Senators voted 19-11 to send the bill to Gov. Rick Perry for a signature. The Texas Tribune reports that thousands of protesters outside the Capitol erupted after the decision. But inside the chamber there was none of the raucous yelling and chanting that ran the clock out on the bill two and a half weeks ago.

Friday was not without drama, though. Security was incredibly tight, and the Department of Public Safety said in a statement that it confiscated "one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint. All of these items – as well as significant quantities of feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti possessed by individuals – were required to be discarded."

Austin's Kirk Watson, leader of the Senate Democrats, called the tampon seizures "boneheaded," and pro-abortion-rights protesters cast doubts on the claims about feces and urine. The Tribune couldn't find a single DPS officer who had confiscated bodily fluids.

Member station KUT in Austin followed the action past midnight.

Rick Holter is KERA's vice president of news. He oversees news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News has earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.